Skip to main content

Military Health System

OWF and DFAS support injured Soldier on his path to success

Image of two men holding onto an award. Click to open a larger version of the image. Brandon Soper (right) receives a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. (Courtesy Photo.)

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

In 2013, Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Soper, a multiple rocket systems crewmember with the 2-289th Field Artillery, 157th Infantry Brigade at Camp Atterbury, Indiana was injured while competing at the First Army Division’s regional competition for the Army's Best Warrior competition.

During his recovery period, Soper connected with Warrior Care’s Operation Warfighter’s (OWF) / Warrior Care’s Education and Employment Initiative (E2I) coordinators Ned Hall and Amy Marohl, who placed him with an internship with Department of Defense’s Department of Finance Accounting Service, or DFAS.

Hall and Marohl are the Midwest regional coordinators for OWF/E2I and have created a partnership with the DFAS, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Soper utilized OWF/E2I during his recovery and began his career with DFAS right after transitioning into the civilian world. Soper is now a recruiter for DFAS’ “Hire a Hero Program”.

Hall, who has been with OWF for years said, “DFAS has been a great resource for medically leaving active duty.”

“Through internships, recovering service members can gain experience, and see if it’s a good fit for them,” emphasized Marhol. “It’s an entry point, so don’t assume that you’re going to go in at a level that is your goal, but to see if this is another path that you may like. And there’s a lot of potential for growth.”

Within a month of leaving active duty, Soper was offered a full-time position at DFAS in Indianapolis. By participating in the Hire a Hero program, he was placed on a list that allowed him to take on additional tasks and different jobs within DFAS. This experience made it easy for him to network and further his knowledge within DFAS.

“I started off as a GS-4, and almost cried,” explained Soper. But once you get your foot in the door, there are so many opportunities. I constantly tell people, those first two years – just be patient. In my wildest dreams, I never thought this was something I was going to do.”

As the DFAS Hire a Hero program recruiter, Soper’s on a mission to recruit recovering service members and veterans. He wants to provide them with the same opportunity that he was presented and help them further their careers. Most importantly, highlighting the value that recovering service members and veterans bring to the DFAS workforce.

Soper furthered, “Military personnel already have a step-up compared to civilians because they are somewhat familiar with a lot of forms that we utilize.” DFAS recognizes the value and skills that recovering service members and veterans bring, such as their leadership skills, team attitude, and mission focus. The Hire a Hero Program places qualified Service Members and Veterans in a file that matches their specialties and skills, and they can begin working their way up the ladder.

Warrior Care’s OWF provides eligible recovering service Members (RSMs) with an opportunity to intern at a variety of different Federal entities; while Warrior Care’s E2I help RSMs identify their skills and match them with education and career opportunities that will help them with a successful transition into civilian life.

To apply through the Hire a Hero Program, visit: https://www.dfas.mil/careers/howtojoin/hire-a-hero/.

You also may be interested in...

Horse Therapy Helps Wounded Service Members Find "New Normal"

Article
9/13/2022
Horse on left with ARNG Spc. Yesenia Flores, at an equine therapy program used by Fort Campbell's Soldier Recovery Unit.

Horse therapy is one way Fort Campbell wounded soldiers move toward recovery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Return to Duty: An SRU Soldier's Story of Recovery and Resiliency

Article Around MHS
9/12/2022
Fort Stewart Soldier Recovery Unit insignia

Capt. Viola Howard, an Iron Guardian at the Fort Stewart Soldier Recovery Unit, injured herself during her tour of duty in Germany and was transferred to Fort Stewart She set her mind to recover, rehabilitate, rebuild and ultimately return to active duty.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Unexpected Friendly Rivals

Article
8/24/2022
A woman helps a person lifting weights

The Brooke Army Medical Center Soldier Recovery Unit is more than where support for wounded, ill, and injured soldiers receiving rehabilitative care takes place.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Wounded Warrior Reconditioning Paves Way to Invictus Victory and More

Article
7/29/2022
An athlete rower

New veteran reflects on his experience at the last Invictus Games as a recovering service member and how DOD adaptive sports programs got him there and aided in recovery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

From Recovery to Resilience: Navy Service Member Shares His Story

Article
7/22/2022
Two people with a shotput

Navy RSM shares how military adaptive sport programs helped him during his recovery from cancer.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Wounded Sailor Ready to Lead Navy Wounded Warrior Marksmen to Victory

Article
7/8/2022
Roel Espino and Retired AZ3 Elizabeth “Ellie” Smith at Navy Warrior Games Training Camp

Adaptive sports allow athletes to pursue new goals. Team Navy’s Shooting Coach Roel Espino shares his journey from athlete to coach.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Warrior Care

378th Medical Partnerships Sustain Life and Mission

Article Around MHS
6/1/2022
Military medical personnel perform mock emergency care

Air Force medical contingency response team members, with the 378th Expeditionary Medical Squadron, perform mock emergency medical care for a simulated casualty at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Warrior Care

Multiservice medical providers, medics take on dive injuries, treatments

Article Around MHS
5/31/2022
Military personnel in pool for training

A group of medical providers and medics recently spent two weeks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Dive Center here learning how to treat patients who may have suffered a dive injury.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Warrior Care

JBLM Soldiers Start Preparing for Warrior Games With Hard Training

Article Around MHS
4/19/2022
Military personnel training for Army Trials and DoD Warrior Games

The DoD Warrior Games 2022 may be months away, but the Soldiers of Task Force Phoenix at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) in Tacoma, Washington already are deep into an intense training regimen in the hopes of securing some shiny hardware this August in Texas.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Recovering Service Members Compete in National Rowing Championship

Article
3/4/2022
Recovering Service Members and Paralympic athletes take on National Indoor Row Championship.

Recovering Service Members compete in 2022 national indoor rowing championships.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Air Force Invisible Wounds Initiative helps build a supportive culture

Article
2/4/2022
Invisible Wounds Initiative

Late last year, the Air Force launched Invisible Wounds Initiative Command Team Campaign

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

National Caregivers Day

Infographic
1/12/2022
National Caregivers Day

It’s #NationalCaregiversDay! Thank you to the millions of dedicated caregivers keeping our loved ones safe and healthy. https://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/Caregiver-Resources/

Recommended Content:

February | Warrior Care

Ft. Belvoir Leaders Learn to Row Learn More About MASP

Article
12/10/2021
Military personnel participating in adaptive sports

Fort Belvoir Soldier Recovery Unit Command team joins MASP for a rowing clinic in Washington D.C. to experience benefits of adaptive sports firsthand.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Caregiver Wife’s Support Instrumental to Wounded Warrior’s Recovery

Article
11/30/2021
Retired Air Force Tech Sgt. Eric Heldman staying active

Eric and Crystal Heideman are not just husband and wife, but life partners navigating life as a wounded warrior and his full-time caregiver with resilience, will, and above all, love for one another.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Meet the Matriarch of Wounded Warrior Caregivers at Walter Reed

Article
11/30/2021
Service members transporting a severely wounded soldier

For worried caregivers at Walter Reed Bethesda, Linda Rasnake is a positive force of nature.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 6
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 17, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery